Script Pipeline - Home

Recent Writer Success Stories

- The 2016 Script Pipeline TV Writing Contest winner, Queen of Thieves (formerly 40 Elephants), was optioned this month by Jeff Singer at Stowaway Films. Script Pipeline made the introduction between Jeff and writers Kay Tuxford and Lily Dahl. The pilot, based on a true story, is Lily and Kay's second script collaboration. Kay is currently in pre-production on her indie coming-of-age film The MisEducation of Bindu, with the Duplass brothers exec producing.

View More Success Stories

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Extended Deadline: May 22nd - Screenwriting and TV Writing Competitions

One more chance to submit to the 2018 Script Pipeline Screenwriting and TV Writing Competitions. . . .

Extended deadline is May 22nd through Coverfly, Withoutabox, and FilmFreeway only.

Submit for Screenwriting | Submit for TV Writing

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Requesting Genre Screenplays and Pilots - First Look Project

The 7th Annual First Look Project fulfills the requests of studios, production companies, agencies, and top managers by finding unique, high-concept material across two main categories:

Screenplay - divisions for Action/Adventure, Comedy, Drama, Horror/Thriller, and Sci-fi/Fantasy

TV Pilot - divisions for Hour and Half-hour original pilots, any genre

One winner in each division receives a share of $15,000, industry circulation, and long-term development assistance from Script Pipeline’s executive team.

"The First Look Project was an awesome experience. From our first phone call, they became our personal champions and proceeded to surprise us again and again with the extent of their support. Thanks to them, we had meetings with a manager and production companies and are now developing our pilot with Mandalay Entertainment. Entering this contest moved our careers forward in an unprecedented way and was the smartest thing we did all year!"
- Ben and Tyler Soper, First Look Project Winners (The Devil in Evelyn)

Supported by Good Fear Film + Management (Rings), Panay Films (Masterminds), Lakeshore Entertainment (Age of Adaline), Zero Gravity Management (Ozark), Silent R Management (reps the Academy Award-winning director of Moonlight Barry Jenkins), Madhouse Entertainment (Prisoners), CAA, and other Script Pipeline partners, the competition introduces the best scripts to major companies.

LEARN MORE AND REGISTER

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FILMMAKERS: Register by May 20th

The 1st Annual Film Pipeline Competitions seek remarkable writers and directors with diverse, engaging work--the type defined by forward-thinking perspectives and unconventional yet universally appealing stories.

For produced shorts, Film Pipeline's platform is significantly different from the typical festival: selected entrants are given introductions to managers and agents for potential representation and extended promotion of their short or series pilot.

For unproduced scripts, Film Pipeline creates an opportunity to get your material made and collaborates with selected entrants from development to production.

Submit a Short Film | Submit a Short Script

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Script Pipeline Interview - Tripper Clancy

Tripper won the 2009 Screenwriting Competition with his comedy Henry the Second. Soon after, he signed with manager Jake Wagner, leading to several studios projects sold and writing assignments with major companies. His action-comedy Stuber stars Kumail Nanjiani, Dave Bautista, and Iko Uwais. As his career continues to burn a path through Hollywood, he’s juggling multiple projects in both film and TV.

It’s been almost 10 years (…I know—that went fast) since you won the 2009 Screenwriting Competition with what was, and still is, one of the best grounded comedies we’ve read in Henry the Second. A lot has happened over that span, but everything seemed to get rolling when you signed with manager Jake Wagner. What was it that clicked? What do writers, of all levels, need to keep in mind when considering representation? 

The goal with representation—and this applies to a manager or an agent—is finding someone who actually wants to represent you as a writer and not just one piece of material you’ve written that might have a chance of selling. Unfortunately, when you’re starting out in the industry, you don’t have much choice in who reps you. You take anyone you can get, and oftentimes that person doesn’t share your vision for what your career path should look like.

I’ve enjoyed working with Jake because we have a very candid relationship, so even when I disagree with his opinion, we can have a healthy debate about it. The cold truth about representation is that when you book projects and generate income, your reps work harder for you. So the trick is finding reps that will work their ass off for you even if you’re in a slump because they know you can write your way out of it.

After winning the contest, you took part in the Fox writing program. The Ambassadors and Winter Break followed. Both were picked up. How did the program help push you forward, both in your development as a writer and your knowledge of the industry?

The Fox Writers Studio was an unbelievable experience, and I’m still friends with (and even working with) several people from that program. I’d say the most educational part of that job was working directly with studio execs at Fox, pitching them feature ideas, developing the script with them, getting their insights on a weekly basis. . . . When you’re writing a spec, you’re alone on an island, and you have no idea what producers or studio execs will think of your work. So at Fox, getting a constant window into their thought process was invaluable and definitely changed the way I think about movie concepts from a macro level.

Regardless of the fact you’re able to make a living off of writing, there’s surely a bit of frustration when a project is sold but goes unproduced, even if that’s a reality every writer recognizes. Is it easy to brush it off and move on?

No. It’s never easy to brush off a project that dies on the vine. You spent an extraordinary amount of time writing and rewriting it. A lot of times it can be really heartbreaking because there are a million ways for a feature project to fail and it’s almost never for the reason you might think. The only thing I can do is remind myself how fortunate I am to get to do this for a living, so if/when a project gets a green light, I can consider it a huge bonus. I also find it helpful not to dwell on projects after you hit send on the email and turn it into the studio. At that point, it’s out of your hands and up to the movie gods, so all you can do is move on and focus on the next thing.

Henry the Second has had some veterans (Shawn Levy and 21 Laps) shepherding it for years. What have been the diversions in getting it made?

21 Laps is still on board. It’s been a long, strange trip and I’m still hopeful that it’ll get made one day. I can’t tell you exactly why it hasn’t been made yet. We’ve come very close several times, but I think it has a lot to do with the tetris game of finding the right piece of talent for the right price who’s available at the right time and that has the right potential upside for the marketplace. Any original project that’s not based on IP has a tough road ahead, so the obstacles we’ve faced on Henry are not that uncommon. Some pretty amazing films took forever to get made, so who knows?

You sold the feature action-comedy Stuber to Fox, starring Kumail Nanjiani, Dave Bautista, and Iko Uwais. What was the process like from idea, to finished script, to getting such stellar talent attached?

Around December of 2015 my manager, Jake, sent me an email with a title (Stuber) and all he knew was maybe there was a comedy version of Collateral about an Uber driver named Stu. I have a deep love of 80s action comedies, and the characters, storyline and structure hit me immediately.

The next morning, I put together a three-page treatment and then a month or so later I had a draft of the script. It took a minute to find the right producers, and then in April of 2016, the script went out to every buyer in town, which led to Fox buying the script. After that, I did a couple of passes for the studio, and then our director, Michael Dowse, came on board, had some more notes, and then it was a matter of finding the right cast for it, which is its own rollercoaster.

I give all the credit to Dowse, the producers, and our exec at Fox for believing in the project and helping Kumail, Dave, and the rest of the cast see how much fun this movie could be. Most things in development at studios will never make it into production, which really makes you beyond grateful when it actually comes together.

Adapting a book to a screenplay with The Art of Fielding: is it a different beast, or not necessarily? How closely do you work with the author of the material, if at all?

Adapting a book is a slightly different process than working on an original idea. For starters, you have to determine how much the producers/studio execs love the material. Sometimes a place might own the rights to a book, but they’ll tell the writer: “All we really like is the basic concept, so feel free to use creative license for the rest.” The Art of Fielding is one of my favorite books of all time—I read it several years before it even became a potential job—so the producers and director and I all agreed that we’d try to stay as true to the novel as possible.

Novels don’t always have a traditional three-act structure, which is more common in features, so the first major decision is figuring out how to structure it as a movie. I spoke with the author a few times during the outline phase, which was super helpful, but then with each draft, I found myself needing to distance myself from the source material. At some point you have to ask yourself: “Am I writing the best adaptation or the best movie?” And that might mean cutting things you adore from the book or creating an extra scene here or there to bridge a storyline.

With a novel like The Art of Fielding, the characters are so rich and so layered that the most challenging obstacle for me was figuring out how to keep the thing under 125 pages.

There have been a number of other scripts—Hacker Camp with Hasbro, Stranded for Sony—all features. All comedies or a variation thereof. Is TV on the horizon? Directing?

I think every screenwriter hopes to direct one day. I will likely cross that bridge down the line, but director jobs don’t grow on trees, so I will have to wait for the right opportunity. I actually feel like producing is a kind of a parallel skillset to screenwriting, since you’re almost always wearing a producer hat, asking yourself if a particular assignment is a good fit for you, or if a spec idea has a strong enough concept to find a studio home, having to interface with studio execs, managing expectations, etc.

TV is definitely something I’d like to get into and I have one project now that’s in its early stages, but just like features, it’s not easy to get a project off the ground, so we’ll just have to see how it goes.

Read the Full Interview

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April 2018 Script Sales

Bo Burnham’s spec script Gay Kid and Fat Chickis moving forward at Paramount Players with director Amy York Rubin at the helm. The dramedy script placed on the 2013 Black List and has been in development ever since. Tooley Productions picked up Tony Gayton’s crime-drama spec Thug. The story follows an aging ex-boxer and enforcer for a San Pedro gangster as he tries to fix his past mistakes and reconnect with his estranged children. Tucker Tooley will produce, and Christian Gudegast (London Has Fallen) will direct. New Line Cinema is moving forward with The Long Walk, adapted by James Vanderbilt from the novel by Stephen King (written under his pseudonym Richard Bachman). Vanderbilt had written the script on spec before New Line picked it up. Peter Dinklage to produce, perhaps star in O’Lucky Dayfor Legendary Pictures. The script, written by Andrew Dodge, follows a con man who poses as a leprechaun to exact an elaborate scheme of vengeance. Jon S. Baird will direct.

More script sales:

- Chicken Run is getting a sequel! Karey Kirkpatrick and John O’Farrell (writers on the first movie) are set to script, and Sam Fell (Flushed AwayParanorman) will direct.

- Ashley Edward Miller to adapt Red Sonjafor Millennium Films.

- Blue Ice Pictures picked up Adriana Maggs and Jane Maggs’ sports biopic Goalieabout Canadian NHL player Terry Sawchuk and based on the poem “Night Work” by Randall Maggs and the book Sawchuk: The Troubles and Triumphs of the World’s Greatest Goalieby David Dupuis.

- Oscar-winner John Ridley (12 Years a Slave) is set to write and direct a movie based on his graphic novel The American Way: Those Above And Those Below, written with artist Georges Jeanty. Jason Blum will produce.

- TriStar Pictures picked up Alex Garland’s family/fantasy script The Toymaker’s Secret. Paloma Baeza will direct.

- Clea DuVall to direct Happiest Season, which she co-wrote with Mary Holland, for TriStar Pictures.

- Lorne Michaels to produce Baby Nurse, written by Austin Winsberg. Leslie Jones and Colin Jost are set to star.

Read More Script Sales

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Brooklyn Nine-Nine - Pilot

In preparation for the television upfronts, Fox axed a huge percentage of its lineup last week, but the cancellation heard ’round the world was critical darling Brooklyn Nine-Nine. The fans’ reaction was immediate, and people such as Guillermo del Toro, Mark Hamill, Lin-Manuel Miranda, and seemingly half of Twitter took to the internet to voice their disappointment, ultimately leading to NBC’s decision to pick up the show the very next day. (Cue a well-deserved Jake Peralta "Noice.") As a result, the fans literally saved the Nine-Nine, NBC got back a series they let slip to another network (despite airing on Fox, Brooklyn Nine-Ninewas produced by NBC/Universal), and everybody lived happily ever after.

The backlash Fox received from cancelling Brooklyn Nine-Nineis a testament to its quality. Joke by joke, it’s one of the funniest shows (if not thefunniest) currently airing on television. For some shows, you’ll hear people say that you should skip the first season or it doesn’t really get going until episode 4. Not the case with B99. If you haven’t seen it, the pilot is actually a great place to start. Written by Dan Goor and Michael Schur (whom you may recognize from another amazing sitcom Parks and Rec), the pilot is an instant classic and introduces the audience to its lived-in, diverse cast of characters, who feel like real people with unique, specific points of view and not just a collection of punchlines.

The tone is almost anything-goes when it comes to humor, but at the same time, the show respects its characters and allows time to explore serious issues. For example, the pilot introduces a new captain to the Nine-Nine, Raymond Holt, an openly gay, black detective played by a spectacularly deadpan Andre Braugher. The first season makes frequent references to his being openly gay in the workplace at a time that wasn’t socially acceptable (the ‘80s), and while the show makes (hilarious) jokes about that through flashback, it avoids diminishing his experiences or his character. The show is equally inclusive when it comes to race and gender, and that inclusivity is what makes it a standout series. The cast is stacked with talented performers: Melissa Fumero as type-A-to-a-fault Amy Santiago, Stephanie Beatriz as intimidating-as-hell-but-incredibly-loyal Rosa Diaz, Terry Crews as the physically intimidating but soft hearted Terry Jeffords, Andy Samberg as the goofily charming man-child Jake Peralta, Chelsea Peretti as the narcissistic assistant Gina Linetti, Joe Lo Truglio as oddball Charles Boyle, and Dirk Blocker and Joel McKinnon Miller as the Tweedle-Dee and Tweedle-Dum of the Nine-Nine, Michael Hitchcock and Norm Scully. Each of them has multiple hilarious lines every episode, and they help fill out an already well-defined world.

So in short, you should read the pilot, catch up on the show on Hulu if you haven’t yet, and wait for season six to come to NBC later this year.

Read the Brooklyn Nine-Nine Pilot

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Script Pipeline Workshop Notes - Screenplays and Pilots

Established in 2000, the Script Pipeline Workshop is one of the longest-running notes services in the industry, offering feedback on screenplays, pilots, and pitches for film and television. Hundreds of writers each year, from beginners to professionals, benefit from the expertise of a small, seasoned group of development execs, many of whom are active writers and producers themselves.

"My idea led to a messy first draft with loads of promise. But now, by way of a systematic scene-by-scene approach, Script Pipeline helped me tweak that draft toward its fullest potential."
- Jason Vaughn (Script Pipeline Contest Winner, "Recommend" Writer)

Any genre or format accepted. We review everything from partially completed scripts to production-ready final drafts. Writers may also request a critique on supplemental materials (such as a TV show bible, synopsis, or logline), as well as follow up with their reader with additional questions on the feedback.

Together with our competitions, the Workshop is another outlet to funnel upper-echelon projects to an array of industry contacts and shepherd scripts into production.

*contest entrants receive a discounted rate on General Reviews; add-on notes available during registration for any competition

Development Notes | General Review

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Upcoming Competition Deadlines & Dates

2018 Screenwriting Competition - Extended Deadline: May 22nd

2018 TV Writing Competition - Extended Deadline: May 22nd

2018 First Look Project - Early Deadline: June 1st

2018 Great Movie Idea Contest - Deadline: June 15th

2018 Great TV Show Idea Contest - Deadline: June 15th


Other Pipeline Competitions:

Film Pipeline - Next Deadline: May 20th

Book Pipeline - Next Deadline: June 20th

Script Pipeline is a division of Pipeline Media Group, LLC